Romney: Raising Taxes Was Something Obama "Did Not Do in His First Four Years"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 25 2012 4:12 PM

Romney: Raising Taxes Was Something Obama "Did Not Do in His First Four Years"

This is a mostly true statement, so it might take some explaining. Here's Mitt Romney in Ohio, claiming that Barack Obama will soon do something "he did not do in his first four years," and "raise taxes." Paul Ryan's confused face says it all.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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What's the goof? Barack Obama has not raised tax rates. In fact, like he keeps trying to tell you meddlesome swing voters, his only broken promise on tax rates was that he planned to restore the Clinton-era 39.6 percent rate on income over $250,000, but gave up on this during the December 2010 tax compromise. But as Americans for Tax Reform will tell you, the Obama administration has signed off on some luxury taxes, like the tanning bed fee. And as this Republican campaign will tell you, in a press release from Sunday, Barack Obama's health care mandate was rescued by John Roberts and defined, effectively, as a tax.

President Obama Claimed He Hasn’t Raised Taxes – Just Days After The CBO Found Obamacare Would Raise Taxes On Nearly 5 Million Middle-Class Americans:
President Obama, Tonight: “I Haven't Raised Taxes.” OBAMA: Well, it's a lot of rhetoric, but there aren't a lot of facts supporting it. Taxes are lower on families than they've been probably in the last 50 years. So I haven't raised taxes.  I've cut taxes for middle class families by an average of $3,600 per typical family.”(CBS’s “60 Minutes,” 9/23/12)
The Congressional Budget Office Estimates Nearly 6 Million Americans Will Get Hit With Obamacare’s Tax Increase. “Congressional budget analysts are now estimating that nearly 6 million Americans — most of them in the middle class — will have to pay a tax penalty for not getting health insurance once President Barack Obama’s health care law is fully in place.” (“Tax Penalty To Hit Nearly 6M Uninsured People,” The Associated Press, 9/19/12)

Which campaign was that? Why, Romney-Ryan 2012! Romney accidentally undercut one of his campaign's best arguments that President Obama has raised your taxes.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.